09/16/2011 3:35PM

Belmont: Unbridled Humor lands in better spot in Noble Damsel


ELMONT, N.Y. – Unbridled Humor had been so impressive winning her first four career starts that a start in the Grade 1 Diana at Saratoga seemed logical. The betting public dove in with both fists sending her off the 9-5 favorite in a nine-horse field.

The bettors and her connections were bitterly disappointed when Unbridled Humor faltered after setting the pace, finishing seventh, beaten 5 1/2 lengths by Zagora.

NOBLE DAMSEL: Video preview and past performances »

Unbridled Humor finds a seemingly more suitable spot to try and win her first graded stakes when she runs in Sunday’s Grade 3, $100,000 Noble Damsel at Belmont Park.

Unbridled Humor will face only one other graded winner –Aviate – in the Noble Damsel run at one mile over the Widener Turf. Unbridled Humor was cross-entered in Sunday’s Politely Stakes at Monmouth, but will scratch from that spot, according to trainer Graham Motion.

In the Diana, a headstrong Unbridled Humor found herself on the lead through soft early fractions, but she gave way inside the final furlong.

“First of all, second race off a layoff, which never is a good angle for me,’’ Motion said when discussing the Diana. “Too much to jump into a Grade 1 race. It seemed like the right thing to do; in retrospect too much too soon.’’

Motion also thinks Unbridled Humor prefers to be covered up behind horses as opposed to being on the lead, a trip he hopes Ramon Dominguez can work out on the filly, who breaks from post 5.

“Ideally, she’s better when she’s been able to tuck in behind another horse,’’ Motion said. “In that respect, clearly she was up against it in the Diana.’’

Aviate rallied from well off the pace to win the Grade 2 Distaff Turf Mile at Churchill on Derby Day. She caught less than firm turf in the Just a Game and Diana and didn’t have the best of trips when fifth in the Ballston Spa.

The likelihood of firm turf and the cutback to one mile should play into Aviate’s favor. Also, she is reunited with Kent Desormeaux, who was aboard for the Distaff Turf Mile victory.

Like Unbridled Humor, Aquitaine was cross-entered in the Politely, but will run here. Trainer Michael Matz said Aquitaine is a difficult horse to ride, which is why he is glad to have Joe Bravo in the irons. Bravo won a second-level allowance race aboard this 5-year-old Aquitaine three starts back.

Thai Haku, an Irish-bred daughter of Oasis Dreams, makes her North American debut in the Noble Damsel. She has gone winless in her last seven starts.

The Jerry Jamgotchian-owned entry of Twilight Memory and Spring Party and Sea Road complete the field.

Cascadilla Falls stretches out in Queen Tutta

Cascadilla Falls, who won the Lucy Scribner Stakes going 5 1/2 furlongs at Saratoga, will stretch out to seven furlongs in Sunday’s $60,000 Queen Tutta Stakes at Belmont.

Cascadilla Falls, a 3-year-old daughter of E Dubai, has won 3 of her last 4 starts. Her only loss in that span came when she finished fifth as the 6-5 favorite in the Crank It Up Stakes at Monmouth Park over less than firm turf.

The Queen Tutta drew a competitive field of 10, including In Step, a $1 million daughter of Unbridled’s Song, who finished fourth in her lone turf try and Shatoosh, who defeated Cascadilla Falls in a maiden race over Keeneland’s Polytrack in April.

Button Girl, Decennial, Mount Holiday, Dontbeshy I’ll Buy, Smartys Emperoress, Cofachiqui, and Palooza complete the field.